Average Bowling Score by Age and What’s a Good Score by Group – How to Adjust Your Strategy

Bowling is a blast! You can play it with your friends and family or even by yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a pro, you can always have fun and challenge yourself.

But how do you know if you’re doing well? How do your scores compare to other people your age? Let’s find out!

I’ll walk you through the average bowling scores for different age groups and see what makes a good score for each one..

Key Highlights

  • Bowling scores vary by age, with younger players scoring lower on average and improving as they age and gain experience.
  • Regular practice, focusing on technique, and using the right equipment are crucial for improving bowling scores across all age groups.
  • Joining a bowling community or league can enhance your enjoyment of the game and motivate you to improve.
  • Setting personal goals and celebrating small wins are important for personal progress in bowling, regardless of age.

Bowling Scores and How They Work

Before we get into the specifics by age, let’s quickly talk about bowling scores. When you play bowling, you roll a heavy ball down a lane, trying to knock down ten pins.

The more pins you knock down, the higher your score. You get two chances per frame, and there are ten frames in a game. If you knock all the pins down on your first try, that’s a strike.

If it takes two tries, that’s a spare. Strikes and spares can really boost your score due to the bonus points they bring.

Kids Under 10

Kids Under 10

  • Scores Range: 20-70
  • Tips: Use bumpers and light balls

For young kids under 10, bowling is all about having fun and getting a feel for the game. Lighter balls and bumpers, which prevent the ball from going into the gutters, help keep the game enjoyable.

Scores can vary widely as kids are just starting to develop their coordination and strength.


  • Scores Range: 70-120
  • Focus: Learning to score spares

As kids hit the pre-teen years, their average scores start to climb. This age is perfect for focusing on technique, especially learning how to consistently score spares. It’s an exciting time as they start to see their scores improve with practice.


Teens bowling

  • Scores Range: 120-190
  • Key: Regular practice

Teenagers, with their increasing strength and refining skills, can achieve impressive scores.

Regular visits to the bowling alley and a focus on technique can see them scoring in the high 100s. It’s a great age to start taking the game a bit more seriously if they’re interested.

Young Adults

  • Ages 20-30: Scores between 170-220
  • Ages 31-50: Expect 200-250

In their 20s and 30s, bowlers hit their physical peak. Those who keep refining their skills and strategies can see their scores soar. It’s also the age group where many bowlers achieve their lifetime best scores.

Mature Adults

Mature Adults bowling ball

  • Ages 50+: Casual bowlers average 120-150, while regulars can maintain around 200

As bowlers enter their 50s and beyond, scores might dip a bit for casual players. However, those who stay active in the sport and maintain their physical fitness can still post impressive numbers.

What’s a Good Score?

Understanding what makes a good score depends on several factors, including age, experience, and how often you play.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Ages 10 to 15: A good score ranges from 90 to 150, improving as kids grow and gain more experience.
  • Ages 15 to 30: Bowlers should aim for scores between 170 and 220. Older individuals in this group might achieve higher scores thanks to increased skills.
  • Ages 30 to 45: Scores of 200 to 250 or more are common among experienced bowlers, reflecting a professional level of play.
  • Ages Above 45: While scores can vary, a general expectation is 120-150. However, those who practice regularly and stay fit can achieve much higher.

How Can You Improve Your Bowling Score?

Regardless of your age, improving your bowling score is all about practice, technique, and sometimes, a bit of strategy. Here are a few tips:

  • Practice Regularly: The more you bowl, the better you’ll get. Try to play at least once a week.
  • Focus on Technique: Work on your stance, approach, and release. Consistency is key.
  • Learn About Bowling Balls: Different balls suit different styles and lane conditions. Experiment to find what works best for you.
  • Join a League: Bowling in a league can push you to improve and learn from more experienced players.

Strategies for All Ages

While understanding average scores and setting goals is important, enjoying the game and continuously improving are what truly matter.

Whether you’re a youngster just starting or a seasoned adult player, there’s always room to grow and have fun in bowling.

Here are strategies tailored for different age groups to enhance their bowling experience.

For the Young Ones

  • Celebrate Small Wins: Focus on personal bests rather than just the score. Did you knock down more pins than last time? That’s a win!
  • Games and Challenges: Turn practice into a game. Can you beat your last score? Can you get a spare or strike this round?

For Teens and Young Adults

  • Video Analysis: Record your bowling sessions and analyze your technique. Look for consistency in your approach, release, and follow-through.
  • Professional Coaching: Consider getting a few lessons from a pro. Even a few tips can make a big difference in your game.

For Mature Adults

  • Stay Physically Active: Bowling is as much about physical ability as it is about skill. Staying active outside the bowling alley can help maintain and even improve your game.
  • Social Bowling: Joining a league or bowling with friends can make practice more enjoyable and motivate you to play regularly.

Essential Bowling Techniques Across Ages

While tailored strategies help, there are universal techniques in bowling that players of all ages can benefit from. Let’s break down a few:

  • The Right Equipment: Choosing a ball that fits your hand comfortably and suits your playing style is crucial. Don’t overlook the importance of good bowling shoes, too.
  • The Approach: A smooth and consistent approach is vital. Focus on timing and footwork to improve your accuracy and power.
  • The Release: Work on your release technique to control the ball’s speed and direction. A good release can significantly impact your ability to hit strikes or pick up spares.


Can using heavier bowling balls affect my average score?

Yes, using a heavier ball can improve your score by providing more power and pin action, but it’s important to use a weight you can comfortably handle.

Is it better to bowl with or without bumpers to improve my score?

While bumpers prevent gutter balls, bowling without them helps you learn accuracy and improve your score over time.

How often should I practice bowling to significantly improve my score?

Practicing once a week can lead to noticeable improvements, but more frequent practice can accelerate your progress.

Can changing my bowling shoes affect my game?

Yes, high-quality bowling shoes can improve your approach and stability, potentially leading to higher scores.

Is there an optimal age to start bowling if I want to become competitive?

Starting young can be beneficial for developing long-term skills, but competitive bowlers can start at any age with dedication and practice.

Do professional bowlers ever use light bowling balls?

Professionals typically use heavier balls for more power and control, but they may choose lighter balls for specific shots or lane conditions.

Final Words

Bowling is a sport that offers endless fun and a satisfying challenge for players of all ages. Knowing the average scores for your age group and what counts as a good score allows you to set realistic goals and work towards smashing them.

The most important part of bowling is to enjoy the game and have a great time with friends or family. So, lace up those bowling shoes, choose your favorite ball, and let’s hit the lanes!